In June 2020, we at MennoMedia and our book imprint Herald Press publicly lifted our voices to join with those crying out “No justice, no peace” after the death of George Floyd. We committed to working toward God’s vision of shalom for all people.
Racism, inequality, and injustice have no place in the reign of God. Yet ours is a broken world and a broken church. We stand with the people protesting as a sign of public mourning and outrage, voicing unheard cries for justice, and we pledge to utilize our ministry to bring about change.
A year ago, we acknowledged that we still have much work to do as an organization to dismantle racism. We pledged then to do our part to go deeper with thoughtful Christian resources to enrich faith in our complex world.
We want to provide a brief update on some of the ways that this work has challenged us in the last year and is being woven into the fabric of our organization.
- Mandatory staff and board antiracism training last fall solidified our shared commitment to this work and led to fruitful, honest conversations about where we have missed the mark.
- A complete antiracism audit was conducted in spring 2021 by Widerstand Consulting. The auditors led a series of focus groups of various constituents and then made specific recommendations for changes around our mission and identity, our organizational structure and expectations, our staffing and personnel, our constituency, and more. MennoMedia’s leadership team, department directors, and board continue to work through the ideas in the audit.
- Every person on staff is part of a small group reading and processing together Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace by Osheta Moore (Herald Press, 2021).
- The development department started a fund to empower Black and Brown authors and writers.
- An issue of Leader magazine was devoted to race, the church, and change this past year with editorial shaping done by Black and white editors.
- The Herald Press team is working on a suite of tools to support writers of color and to establish a book editorial process that is collaborative and antiracist.
- In June, Shine curriculum debuted Current: Seeking Justice Together, a digital curriculum that helps churches explore biblical justice. Shine hired consultants to review its upcoming vacation Bible school unit, Passport to Peace, for intercultural competency. The Shine team is also actively seeking and hiring illustrators from the BIPOC community for its Sunday school curriculum.
We remain committed to moving forward with antiracism initiatives at MennoMedia and in the broader church. Join us in working for racial justice and peace in the way of Jesus, and watch for periodic updates.